Will Mobile and VOIP merge into one?

In a move sure to please many, mobile phone company 3 has released a phone that allows you to make free calls.

The 3 Skypephone, which can operate as a normal 3G phone, lets users also make free Skype calls and send free instant messages to other Skype users anywhere around the world.

"People like using Skype and enjoying free calls on their PC, so why not let Skype free on the mobile and in a way that's really easy to use," 3 CEO, Nigel Dews, said.

"This is simply giving people what they want, and challenging the traditional phone company view that dictates customers get charged for everything they do, with access to VoIP (voice over IP) on the mobile being essentially off limits."

The phone will appeal to those with an addiction to text messaging, allowing more than 10,000 free chat messages and 4,000 minutes of call time between Skype users.

Skype calls on the Skypephone go through 3's network, and cannot be used through a WiFi network.

Despite the Skypephone's free calls having the potential to cut into 3's revenue, the phone company is confident the product will help build its customer base.

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